Racial variation in physique and body composition.

J. H. Himes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Racial variation in physique and body composition are of interest to sport scientists because these characteristics may be related to athletic performance, fitness, strength and injury. There is clearly variation among groups in mean somatotypes and the sitting height-stature relationship. Although differences are often emphasized, racial group distributions of variables describing physique often overlap to a considerable extent. Environment may be a factor in group differences in physique. Consistent Black-White differences are found in mean levels of variables related to bone mineralization, with Blacks exceeding Whites. It may be that the lean body mass of Blacks is of greater density than that of Whites. Gross morphological variation among groups is probably only a concomitant of variation in performance rather than a determinant of performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian journal of sport sciences = Journal canadien des sciences du sport
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1988


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